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Film Blogger Shitstorm

I’ve been trying to decide for a few days whether to acknowledge this, but it’s getting so big now that I suppose I have to, if for no other reason than to greet the loads of new visitors I am now getting. A blogger made a strange complaint about my Hannah Takes the Stairs post, which I dismissed at the time as quackery. He complained that my post did not contain plot summary and was not a ‘traditional’ review. Something I agree with and do not apologize for, and further if anyone is looking for that they should leave now because you’ll never find it here. I didn’t go to grad school to write movie capsules. And I didn’t start a blog to write newspaper reviews. But then a blogger who should know better picked up the cause and, clearly without reading my original Hannah post, wrote a post fretting over the effect on small, indie films of “inexperienced” bloggers who “might not be qualified” to write about film. This was then picked up again and again and again by bloggers–film bloggers love to write about film blogging, you see, so it’s spreading like wildfire.

So, the original blogger who started it all with his complaint that I don’t water down my posts apologized here and here for making my blog a footnote in a debate about internet quacks bringing down indie film. They say any publicity is good publicity, but in this case I’d happily give up all the new visitors and disagree.

As for the debate itself, or rather the fears of filmmakers that film-morons with blogs now have global power to sink their films with their incoherent rants, I think it’s a non-issue. Any blogger’s writing will quickly reveal itself to be a waste of time or not. If you are a moron maybe you’ll take a moron’s word to heart, but if that’s the case you likely aren’t going to like that indie film anyway.

5 Responses to “Film Blogger Shitstorm”

  1. May 10th, 2007 | 4:32 pm

    In the end, I always think it’s great to engage in conversations of this nature. The topic was on the tip of the tongue anyway. Your review was just a part of it. Be happy. At least you’re interesting. That’s a hell of a lot better than what the “cloggers” who actually are “cloggers” in this discussion’s sense offer.

  2. May 14th, 2007 | 1:55 am

    I really liked your review of Hannah. It’s just the type of thoughtful film writing I look for online. I’d rather not read plot description, which might reveal details better left experienced while watching the film, presuming I haven’t seen it, and which is redundant if I have. I don’t like writing plot description (thought I have to sometimes) and I’d just as soon not read too much of it.
    I’m happy to read a pretty detailed description of your reaction to the film, and your analysis of why you reacted that way.

    Best of all, your review doesn’t make me want to see the film any less. (I’ve never seen any of Swanberg’s films, but I really like both of Bujalski’s features, so the comparison intrigues me) Your review will give me something to think about, should I ever get to see the film, that I might not have thought about, and which I feel I probably should think about, having focused on the “luminescence” of various actresses in some of my past reviews. (I mean, it can’t be as bad as that Natalie Portman character in Garden State, can it?)

    In any case, it’s weird that this kind of writing created the “shitstorm” it did, but I’m glad it led me to your blog, and particularly to that review.


  3. May 14th, 2007 | 10:36 am

    thanks guys…and sure, the conversation itself is not a bad thing…and josh i’m glad my post didn’t make you want to see the film any less–i really like swanberg so would never want to turn people away from him, or bujalski.

  4. July 17th, 2007 | 11:54 am

    Did you delete the comment quakery? Which comment is the offender? It seems like a healthy discussion there now. (I write as you do and I’ve only received praise, so I’m surprised to hear that this may have set off that clogger discussion.)

  5. July 17th, 2007 | 12:01 pm

    oh no sorry the quack made the complaint on his own blog, not in a comment here. it was sujewa!